Understanding Flexibility Levels and Fund Sources

Overview

To maintain transparency in how allocations are funded and how flexible they are, the initial allocation worksheet displays the fund source and flexibility level of each allocation. The fund source relates to how the district receives the funds and the flexibility level relates to how much autonomy principals have in budgeting the funds. On the initial allocation worksheet, some fund sources, such as local, are split across flexibilities. This is why you will see “Local” and “Local Locked” as two fund sources even though both are funded with local dollars. Below are definitions of the fund sources to help understand the initial allocation worksheet followed by updated levels of flexibility to reflect the updated budget model. 

Fund Sources on the FY23 Initial Budget Worksheets

Local Locked These allocations are funded by local dollars from the city’s Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF), but due to programmatic, legal, or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) requirements, these allocations cannot be changed. 

Local – These allocations are funded by local dollars from the city’s UPSFF. The allocation contains pre-budgeted (L2) and fully flexible (L3) allocations. 

English Learner Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (EL UPSFF)* – This fund source contains allocations provided to schools through the city’s UPSFF. Per D.C. Act 24-176, DCPS must have a separate funding source for the elementary and secondary ELL student weight.

At-Risk*This fund source contains allocations provided to schools through the city’s Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF). Per D.C. Act 24-176, DCPS must have a separate funding source for at-risk students and at-risk high school overage supplement.   

Title I LockedThese allocations are funded by Title I and cannot be repurposed during the budget development process. 

Title I Title I schoolwide funds are a combination of Title I and Title II funds at Title I schools and are budgeted in support of Title I students at the school. 

Title II LockedThese allocations are funded by Title II and cannot be repurposed during the budget development process.

Department of Defense (DoD) LockedThese allocations are funded by a cost sharing agreement with the Department of Defense and cannot be repurposed during the budget development process.

21st Century – Allocations for afterschool programming at participating title I elementary and education campuses are loaded here. These allocations are funded by the 21st Century Grant and cannot be repurposed outside of afterschool programming during budget development. 

StabilizationSchools that received stability funding in the form of stabilization will find those dollars here.

Hold Harmless Funds Schools that received one time stability funding in the form of Hold Harmless Funds will find those dollars here. 

Mayor’s Recovery FundsSchools that received one time stability funding in the form of Mayor’s Recovery Funds will find those dollars here. 

*Information about the EL UPSFF and At-Risk tracking requirements can be found on page 84: https://lims.dccouncil.us/downloads/LIMS/47312/Signed_Act/B24-0285-Signed_Act.pdf 

Levels of Flexibility

The updated budget model provides funding to schools for positions, programs, and non-personnel dollars. Each allocation is designated a level of flexibility (1-3) that determines principal autonomy over budgeting the allocation. 

Changes for FY23: The updated budget model allowed an opportunity to align allocation flexibility levels to be more specific and transparent to the community and school leaders. In FY23, several items are now Level 2 that were Level 1 in FY22. This change from Level 1 to 2 represents the “within program flexibility” of Level 2 allocations. Thus, for an allocation to change from Level 1 to Level 2 in FY23 alone does not mean it is any less required than it was in FY22. FY23 Level 1 allocations on the other hand, are fully locked and cannot be shifted even within the program.

See the updated definitions below: 

Level 1 Required – Locked – These allocations are unable to be changed. This may be determined by fund source requirements and allowability, such as grants and Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), legal requirements, and other core operational considerations.

Level 2 Required – Rarely flexible – Any shift in the allocation will maintain the intended purpose of the original allocation. Principals must demonstrate how they will meet related programmatic requirements.  

Level 3 Flexible – These allocations are provided to schools to budget for staff and programming.  

Exercising Flexibility over Allocations: Changes made to Level 2 allocations will be reviewed holistically by Instructional Superintendents and Principals to ensure all requirements all still met. 

For a list of allocations that changed flexibility levels, view the “What’s New” section of the FY23 Principal Budget Development Guide. For a full list of allocation items by flexibility level, view the “Flexibility Chart” in the FY23 Principal Budget Development Guide.